30 October 2012

Tuesday's Child...
Today's post will be short and to the point.
If the past 24 hours is any indication of how much GRACE we've had bestowed upon us, then I'd have to say we were very fortunate.
And, if you're familiar with the children's rhyme, you know why I chose today's title.
Although at least 30+ known deaths have occurred in the wake of (former) hurricane Sandy, we still got off pretty light as far as the human factor goes.
But, there is always the property damage and related "fallout" from a storm of this magnitude.
Remember when I said that it wasn't about the FORCE of the storm, but the sheer SIZE of it that was the issue?
Well, how about a NINE HUNDRED MILE total circumference?
Here in the Heartland, we were feeling the first stages of Sandy's arrival on the EAST COAST...and we're about 1100 miles by vehicle (579 miles or about 931 clicks - in a straight line) FROM there.
So much for our geography lesson for today.
The boardwalk in Atlantic City is pretty much a loss, as much of it was either damaged or washed away during the storm. The GOOD news is that after Labor Day, the tourist numbers drop off markedly, and oceanfront store owners close up for the season. So the number of people at risk was much less than would be if the storm hit just ONE month prior. That doesn't exclude those LIVING there, though.
Lots of flooding to go around, and this was evident from Cape may, NJ, all the way up to NYC (and beyond into Connecticut).
If there was an "up" side, it's that the coast was spared the immediate convergence of "Sandy" and the other low pressure front coming in from the northwest, which wound up dumping close to TWO FEET OF SNOW in West Virginia.
People are already estimating the damages caused by this storm, and as a result, the total amount could surpass the entire budget for the state of Indiana, so you have an idea as to HOW MUCH this will cost the states most affected.
NYC went partially dark last evening, and God only knows how much water wound up in the subways.
Fox News had great coverage as did FBN, and even their studio went dark for a short time, before their own generators kicked in.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan DONATED their campaign bus, stocked it with supplies and sent it into the storm ravaged area...
Now, to ME, that smacks of real leadership...and sacrifice.
Here's the link to the story from The Blaze:
But never fear, Obama stayed at the WHITE HOUSE (for a change) and was in touch with FEMA.
You know, whenever we have weather events like this, be they hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, whatever...it's the PEOPLE who rally together first.
Time and again, you will see folks helping ONE ANOTHER with wonderfully unselfish acts of ALTRUISM...acts that when viewed objectively, make you aware that we have more than just a glimmer of hope about us.
We DO have the ability to make the right call.
We step up and show one another what the American Spirit is all about, and that's got to make you smile, even through such times and weather as this. It makes one proud to live HERE...in THIS country.
*** There was one maritime casualty in all this, and it happened off the coast of North Carolina.
Here's the story from USA Today:
And another link from the Galveston Daily News
The replica ship HMS BOUNTY, originally built for the 1962 movie starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, and later featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, sank approximately 90 miles off of Hatteras, N.C. when power failed late Sunday and she began taking water.
Reports state that 14 of the 16 crew were rescued, but the captain is presumed missing. The fifteenth person was found yesterday but died later.
Hatteras (and the cape) is a TREACHEROUS area for shipping on ANY kind in bad weather...history has proven as much.
Here's the WIKI for the area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic:
The ship left Connecticut bound for port in Galveston, TX as a tourist attraction, when she encountered the storm
The USCG battled 18 foot waves and 40 MPH winds to rescue the 14 survivors, who had taken to lifeboats still within sight of the stricken vessel.
Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were the first to arrive on scene Sunday night around 0630 hrs.
*** Now, we can stand back, look at all the devastation from Sandy and think how fortunate we are.
By GRACE were so many spared, and yet we did lose some people.
To never lose ANYONE is nothing short of a miracle these days, given the number of people living to close to harm's way when it comes to severe weather.
That's just the nature of the beast.
Yet, through ALL of this, the Old Guard stood duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington...been that way since they first started guarding the tomb...in ANY weather,...under ANY condition.
((THIS photo was taken on 18 Sept, 2012 by Karin Markerton))
That shows the type of devotion and honor these soldiers...these people and this nation should stand for.
I believe that our own preparedness, mingled with warnings from local,  state, and federal authorities helped to no small end to minimize the loss of life.
And, through all if this, and whatever else happens in the aftermath of the storm, or any other storm, we can say that THIS nation is certainly blessed.
It can ALWAYS be a lot worse, and for so many reasons.
Other impacts will be felt within the next several weeks...businesses will be getting back to speed, municipalities along the coast will also be rebuilding whatever damage was incurred and be doing major cleanups in their areas, refineries along the coast will be slow to get back to full production, and that will mean a bump UP in gas prices, and people will be putting their lives back together.
Patience will be taxed, monies will be tight, and nerves will be frazzled, but through it all, we...the people of THIS nation will prevail.
We have in the past, we will now, and we will continue to do so in the future.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

Excellent post, Robert. I guess the one thing that has me scratching my head is, why didn't the Bounty avail itself of MODERN weather forecasts? Pretty damn brazen to send a ship like out trying to outrace a storm roughly the size of the Moon. if you ask me.

Bob G. said...

The (replica) Bounty was originally over 160 miles outbound from the "predicted" stormtrack when SANDY was passing Florida.
And, as we know all too well, weather IS prone to change.

I suppose the crew NEVER expected the storm to be so MASSIVE in size...several HUNDRED miles is a pretty BIG nasty and I'm sure that turning back was not going to matter, because the ship had NO chance of outrunning the winds and such large swells.

Thank God the Bounty got distress signals out before the USCG lost radio contact.

What amazes me is that CENTURIES ago, when we had little if NO weather progostication, brave souls SAILED TO AMERICA...and BACK...and REGULARLY.
Guess THEY built sturdier ships or had more seasoned crews back then, hmm?

Thanks for stopping by today and commenting.
Glad you liked the post.

Do stay safe (and squirrely) up there.

ms nk rey said...

I put that exact picture of the unknown soldier's tomb on my Facebook and was told the photo was fake.. guess it takes all kinds of ignorant people to populate our world. Keep warm and dry up there my Aussie family is freezing their butts off. They live in the tropical northern part of Queensland state.

Bob G. said...

It's not EXACTLY "untrue".(semantics are a RPIA sometimes)
...the photo is NOT a fake...just from A PREVIOUS rainy day (which I neglected to credit, but have now corrected it)

I've been to Arlington IN THE POURING RAIN, and I can ATTEST that the OLD GUARD DOES, in fact, remain ON DUTY and change the guard at the tomb...no matter WHAT the weather - Hurricanes NOT withstanding.

I apologize for any confusion, but rest assured it's NOT a fake photo...just not from YESTERDAY.

SO now, you can tell those "nay-sayers" the hell off...lol.

Thanks for stopping by and citing my omission.
I did want to caption it (as an example). Just forgot.

You stay safe (and dry) down there.

ms nk rey said...

Wish my commenter had been as gracious as you. I did not mean to point out your omission but merely to tell of the rudeness of my "friend" on Facebook..

Bob G. said...

Nah, S'ok...I was sifting through SO many pictures today that I got sidetracked...(and I;m gittin' a might OLDer...LOL)

YOu go right ahead and let me know...yes, even I have a brain-fart from time to time...
(when my mind is about 3 sentences AHEAD of my hands)

Thanks again.